February 22, 1943, a Commission composed of members of district and
regional authorities arrived on the spot and demanded the handing over of
the administration of the institution. They declared that these proceedings
had been agreed to by the Embassy. In other similar cases the authorities
declared that the Embassy no longer existed.
Subsequently^ the whole personnel and the adult inmates of the institution
were summoned to accept Soviet passports. Terrorized and yielding to
direct threats twelve old and ailing persons accepted the Soviet passports.
All the other adults in the institution, numbering about thirty^ were ousted
from the building. Later a schoolmistress arrived. She is, according to
information received., of Volga-German origin. Lessons are in Russian
only. The children, regardless of nationality., refuse to be taught in
Russian and, despite orders and threats^ they sing religious hymns and
national songs in Polish.
Before I report on these cases to my Government, I should like to ask
you, Mr. Commissar, whether you have any knowledge of these facts and
whether they have occurred with the knowledge and consent of the Soviet
Molotov : I have not heard anything about the facts you mention, Mr.
Ambassador. I will now reply to your statements, dividing my remarks
in two parts :
First: I would advise that the Embassy instruct its representatives
throughout the country to conform to the Note of January 16. There will
be much less misunderstandings if the principles laid down in our Note
were applied, making it possible to avoid all incidents.
Second : As regards specific cases in which the Note of January 16 was
applied, it is not excluded that local authorities may have carried it out
wrongly. For instance, inhabitants of Warsaw do not as a matter of law
become Soviet citizens. Such cases of a faulty interpretation of the Note
may have occurred, but they were quite accidental. If mistakes were made.,
they will be rectified. I can assure you of this, Mr. Ambassador.
Romer : I must remark that the Note of January 16 does not say any-
thing about the taking over by Soviet authorities of Embassy institutions,
such as orphanages, homes for invalids, and that we were never notified
about this. I must further emphasize in this connection that the local
authorities are taking over property owned by the Polish State and I don't
know on what grounds this is being done. As for the Note of January 16,
it refers exclusively to the legal position of persons regarding themselves
and also regarded by us as Polish citizens and on whom Soviet citizenship
is now being forced. . . .
Romer : On what legal grounds are orphanages and other Embassy
institutions being taken over by the Soviet administration ?
Molotov : If we establish that Soviet citizens are found there, then
these institutions become subject to appropriation by the Soviet authorities.
I desire, Mr. Ambassador, to leave no room for misunderstanding in these
Romer : These institutions and everything belonging to them are the
property of the Polish State. As far as citizenship is concerned, however,
from our point of view, these people are Polish citizens and, in part, would
also seem to remain Polish citizens, even from the Soviet viewpoint. The
state of affairs thus created is quite inadmissible. . . .
Romer : I am forced to inform my Government about these facts. If we
are to discuss in a friendly spirit questions relating to citizenship, in accord-